Understanding the Clear Difference between a CV and Resume

Aug 23, 20
cv and resume tips
Understanding the Clear Difference between a CV and Resume


As a recruiter, one thing I have for sure noticed is most of my candidates hardly know the difference between a CV and a resume. So today I decided to write an article about this two piece of documents. In this article, I would outline detailed difference between a CV and a resume. You can also read about when to use a resume or a CV in this article here.

It is no doubt that most fresh graduates or even some senior candidates still fall into this little trap.

First of all, what is a CV? Is it different from a resume in any way?

Why do some candidates apply with a CV and others with a resume? Is it better to apply for jobs with a CV or a resume? All these questions will be answered in this article you are about reading.

One thing which I would also like you to know is that, the main purpose of a CV and a resume may vary based on where you find yourself, be it North America, Africa, Europe or Asia.


Let’s take a look at a summary of some differences between a Cv and Resume

  • A resume is one to two pages long whiles a CV has no length limit
  • A resume should only include those details about your work experience and skills that are relevant to the job opening
  • a CV should detail the whole course of your career
  • CVs are used for academic purposes  and resumes to apply for jobs

Now let’s hit the road by tackling them one after the other starting with a CV;


What really is a CV and what is it made up of?

A CV (full form Curriculum Vitae which is Latin for “course of life”) is an in-depth document which describes the whole course of your career in full detail. It’s usually two- or three-page long but can just as well be laid out over 10+ pages, if necessary. A Curriculum Vitae contains details about your

  • Education
  • Professional career,
  • Publications,
  • Awards,
  • Honours and other achievements.

 In North America, a CV is used only for academic applications: academic jobs, grants, research fellowships, etc.

A CV is very detailed and comprehensive with many sections, no bullet points, and just plain text (after all, CV meaning is a course of life, no wonder it’s that long!) 

  Read more  "12 Reasons Why Your CV Will Get Rejected"


What to Include in a CV: 

  1. Contact Information
  2. Research Objective, Professional Profile, or Personal Statement
  3. Education
  4. Professional Academic Appointments
  5. Books
  6. Book Chapters
  7. Peer-Reviewed Publications
  8. Other Publications
  9. Awards and Honors
  10. Grants and Fellowships
  11. Conferences
  12. Teaching Experience
  13. Research Experience / Lab Experience / Graduate Fieldwork
  14. Non-Academic Activities
  15. Languages and Skills
  16. Memberships
  17. References



 A resume (or résumé, from French “to sum up”) is a short, concise document used for job applications especially in North America. The purpose of a resume is to provide recruiters with a brief overview of the candidate’s work history. A good resume should be targeted at a specific job and one to two pages long. 


What to Include on a Resume

  1. Contact Information
  2. Resume Summary or Resume Objective
  3. Work Experience
  4. Education
  5. Skills
  6. Additional Sections (Awards, Courses, Publications, Certificates, Conferences, etc.)

Read more "How to write an outstanding nursing resume"


Summing it all up

A CV is a piece of document which is made up of the whole course of your career in full detail. Whiles a resume on the other hand is a one or two page document use in the application for a specific job post. If you find yourself in some parts of Europe or Africa, You will rather apply for jobs using a CV instead of a resume.